Slovenia – Guest of Honour Country at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2023
18 Oct 2023
22 Oct 2023
Honeycomb of Words, Slovenia – Guest of Honour Country at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2023. Supported by the Slovenian Book Agency, and SKICA Berlin, Slovenian Cultural Centre, Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Berlin.
at the Frankfurt Book Fair
About the Frankfurt Book Fair
The Frankfurt Book Fair has been held since 1949 and is one of the most important events of the international literary community and book publishing. Every autumn, Frankfurt becomes a venue for an intensive exchange of book culture between the participating countries. The cultural program at the fair is aimed at the general public, while a number of professional events are designed to bring together publishers from all over the world. The business part of the Book Fair program focuses mainly on copyright trading, which enables authors and publishers to expand to foreign markets. Each year, one of the participating countries is also the Guest of Honour of the Fair, which brings it additional attention and the opportunity to showcase its book production more widely and to enhance its reputation.
Honeycomb of Words
In October 2023, Slovenia will be the Guest of Honour of the Frankfurt Book Fair under the slogan "Honeycomb of Words". Originally scheduled to take place in Frankfurt the year before, the coronavirus epidemic has postponed the already announced visits. Preparations for this important opportunity to promote Slovenian literary creativity internationally started in 2015, with the support of funding from the European Regional Development Fund of the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union. Slovenia's exposure at the Frankfurt Book Fair is an opportunity to strengthen the export potential of national book creativity in the field of literature and illustration, and the effects of hosting the fair can be seen in both the cultural and tourism sectors.
Local Effect of Frankfurt Book Fair
In the spirit of preparation for Frankfurt, changes are already visible in the Slovenian publishing scene, especially in the increased number of Slovenian translations published by foreign publishers. Since 2015, Slovenian Book Agency, or JAK, has organised trainings on publishing mechanisms, the sale of copyrights abroad, and promoted networking with foreign publishers and guest appearances of Slovenian authors abroad. It has actively co-financed translations of Slovenian books and organised workshops for translators. The fair usually features authors who have already been translated into foreign languages. After several changes of leadership within the expert group responsible for organising the Frankfurt fair, Miha Kovač will be the co-director of the Slovenian presentation from June 2022, alongside Matthias Göritz. Slovenia's program will, among other things, focus on innovative approaches to the introduction of new technologies and the promotion of their authors abroad, and will address the theme of reading in the screen age. Poetry, a less commercially successful genre, will also be one of the important cornerstones of the national presentation.
Slovenian Pavilion at Frankfurt
Each country is given its own exhibition space at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which it designs according to its own concept. In autumn 2022, the results of the competition for a pavilion and stand at the Frankfurt International Book Fair 2023 were announced. The winning proposal is the work of Urška and Jure Sadar, with their collaborator Martin Smrekar. Their suggested concept plays with a spatial parallel to the slogan of the Slovenian presentation. The main design element is a modular system of bookshelves called "honeycomb". The geometric element of the hexagon, which defines the honeycomb, is also the red thread of the design of the entire space. The materials used are wood, cardboard and textiles, which are produced in Slovenia according to the principles of the circular economy. The authors of the project have also placed movable furniture and accessories by Slovenian designers in the space. The Frankfurt Book Fair is an opportunity for Slovenia to present itself in a holistic way, and for book production to be displayed in harmony with other quality products and achievements of Slovenian architecture, design, art and culture.